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Saturday, March 2, 2024

World Series TV Viewership Continues To Reach New Lows

  • The Rangers’ Game 3 win over the Diamondbacks averaged a record-low 8.13 million viewers.
  • Monday’s game competed with every major league during a rare “sports equinox” when the MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL all play on the same day.
Fox's Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Derek Jeter at 2023 World Series.
Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Within hours of TV viewership data indicating Fox Sports’ coverage of Game 2 was the least-watched World Series game on record, Game 3 ratings delivered even worse news.

Fox’s telecast of the Texas Rangers’ Game 3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night averaged a record-low 8.13 million viewers, according to Sports TV Ratings.

That was below the previous low of 8.15 million viewers for Game 2 of Rangers vs. Diamondbacks on Saturday night. 

Both topped the previous record low of 8.16 million viewers for Game 3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays 2020 World Series in the bubble during the COVID pandemic. It marked the second-straight World Series game this fall to plunge to a record-low audience, putting this year’s edition on track to be the lowest-rated Fall Classic ever.

So what’s behind World Series TV ratings falling like a barometer in a thunderstorm? 

This Fall Classic lacks big stars, such as Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees or Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies seeking their first World Series titles. 

Then there’s the lack of big-market teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, or Boston Red Sox.

Finally, there’s the immovable object known as the NFL.

The NBA and college football twist themselves into pretzels to avoid competing on TV against the NFL.

Unfortunately for MLB and Fox, Game 3 had to go head-to-head with ESPN’s telecast of the Detroit Lions’ win over the Las Vegas Raiders on “Monday Night Football.”

That regular-season Week 7 NFL game averaged 15.2 million viewers across the Walt Disney Co.’s ABC and ESPN, according to Sports TV ratings, nearly doubling World Series viewership. 

Fox at 2023 World Series

World Series Ratings Game 1 TV Audiences Hit All-Time Low

Game 1 of the Texas Rangers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks averaged 9.17 million…
October 30, 2023

Monday’s Game 3 also took place during a rare “sports equinox” when the MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL all play games on the same day.

The good news for MLB and Fox is that Games 4 and 5, and possibly 6 and 7, are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights when at least the NFL is off. 

If this series manages to go 6 or 7 games, then MLB and Fox should still make out financially.

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